ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (4): 731-743.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.00731

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 Purpose in life: A perspective of psychology

 WANG Tong; HUANG Xiting   

  1.  (Faculty of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China)
  • Received:2017-07-24 Online:2018-04-15 Published:2018-02-28
  • Contact: HUANG Xiting, E-mail: E-mail: E-mail:
  • Supported by:

Abstract:  Researching purpose in life from a psychological perspective is crucial for life education. Progress in this area has shown the following. Despite some differences in definition, researchers agree that purpose in life is essentially about a consistent and central future-oriented aim that gives a sense of direction and meaning to life. The measurement of purpose in life mainly focuses on its content and the extent of being purposeful. A high score on purpose offers a testable system that synthesizes outcomes including better stress coping, healthier behaviors, and better physical and mental state, but it is not clear whether there is a functional distinction between types of purpose in life with different content. The content and extent of purpose in life could be shaped by many factors, including individual and contextual factors. Future studies should further clarify the concept, improve the measurement system, and research on its function and influencers systematically. Additionally, the cultural differences should be considered.

Key words: purpose in life, health, cultural difference

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